NATIONAL NEWS

Maryland governor signs gun-control bills tightening requirements

May 16, 2023, 1:13 PM

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signs one of several gun-control measures during a bill-signing ceremony on...

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signs one of several gun-control measures during a bill-signing ceremony on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, in Annapolis, Md. One of the bills signed by the governor generally prohibits a person from wearing, carrying or transporting a gun into areas like schools or health care facilities. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Brian Witte)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed gun-control measures into law on Tuesday, after lawmakers passed measures this year in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The high court’s ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen last year ended a requirement similar to a Maryland law for people to demonstrate a particular need to get a license to carry a concealed gun in public.

One of the measures Moore signed Tuesday removes the “good and substantial reason” language from Maryland law that the court found unconstitutional in the Bruen case. But the Maryland General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, also tightened gun laws to prevent someone from carrying a concealed handgun in certain areas.

“Gun violence is tearing apart the fabric of our communities, not just through mass shootings but through shootings that are happening in each of our communities far too often,” Moore, a Democrat, said at a bill-signing ceremony.

Moore said the measures he signed into law demonstrate that the state won’t back down from the challenges of addressing gun violence plaguing the nation.

“In Maryland, we refuse to say these problems are too big or too tough,” Moore said. “We will act, and that’s exactly what today represents.”

One of the bills signed by the governor generally prohibits a person from wearing, carrying or transporting a gun in an “area for children or vulnerable adults,” like a school or health care facility. The new law, which takes effect Oct. 1, also prohibits a person from carrying a firearm in a “government or public infrastructure area,” or a “special purpose area,” which is defined as a place licensed to sell alcohol, cannabis, a stadium, museum, racetrack or casino.

The law also prohibits a person carrying a firearm from entering someone’s home or property, unless the owner has given permission. There are exemptions for law enforcement, security guards and members of the military.

Gun-rights activists already are planning to challenge the legislation in court.

Mark Pennak, president of Maryland Shall Issue, said Tuesday a lawsuit is drafted and “ready to go.”

“It goes way too far,” Pennak said of the legislation.

A separate measure signed by the governor changes and expand requirements and procedures that relate to the issuance and renewal of a permit to wear, carry or transport a handgun.

While it repeals the “good and substantial reason” requirement struck down by the Supreme Court, it raises the age for qualifying for a handgun permit from 18 to 21, which has come under court challenge in other parts of the country.

It also prohibits a permit for someone who is on supervised probation for a crime punishable by up to one year or more in prison, a person convicted of driving while impaired or under the influence, and people who violate a protective order. People with a mental illness who have a history of violent behavior also would be prohibited from carrying a gun, as well as people who have been involuntarily admitted for more than 30 days to a mental health facility.

The new law also makes changes to requirements for a firearms training course. For example, it specifies that 16 hours of in-person instruction for initial applications include laws relating to self-defense, safe storage and circumstances under which a person becomes prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The law increases the fee for an initial application for a handgun permit from $75 to $125. The fee for renewal or subsequent application for a handgun permit increases from $50 to $75, and a fee for a duplicate or modified handgun permit would go from $10 to $20.

The governor also signed into law another bill that strengthens storage requirements for firearms. Under the law, a person can’t store a loaded firearm in a place where the person knew or should have known that an unsupervised minor has access to a gun. It’s known as Jaelynn’s Law. The law is named after 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey, who was killed in 2018 at Great Mills High School by a 17-year-old student who used his father’s gun.

National News

Associated Press

So long plastic air pillows: Amazon shifting to recycled paper filling for packages in North America

Amazon is shifting from the plastic air pillows used for packaging in North America to recycled paper because it’s more environmentally sound, and it says paper just works better. The company said Thursday that it’s already replaced 95% of the plastic air pillows with paper filler in North America and is working toward complete removal […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Several people shot at Oakland Juneteenth Celebration, police say

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A Juneteenth celebration turned violent when several people were shot, police in Oakland, California, said. The Lake Merritt event on Wednesday night was largely peaceful, with as many as 5,000 in attendance, until a sideshow involving “motorbikes and vehicles” took place at Bellevue and Grand avenues at around 8:15 p.m. on […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Probe finds carelessness caused Jewish student group’s omission from New Jersey high school yearbook

An investigation into how and why a Jewish student group was erased from a New Jersey high school yearbook found the omission was caused by negligence and carelessness, but was not done on purpose or out of malice, the school district announced Wednesday. East Brunswick Public Schools hired a law firm to investigate after the […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Shooting in Philadelphia wounds 7 people, police say

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Seven people were wounded Wednesday evening in a shooting in Philadelphia, police said. The shooting happened just before 6:30 p.m. in North Philadelphia. The victims include a 19-year-old man who was shot in the leg, a 31-year-old woman shot in the hand, a 23-year-old man shot in the buttock, and two women […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Boaters find $1 million of cocaine floating off Florida Keys

MIAMI (AP) — Recreational boaters found $1 million worth of cocaine floating in the ocean off the Florida Keys. Samuel Briggs II, the acting chief patrol agent of the U.S. Border Patrol, wrote about the find in a social media post on X. Briggs posted video Monday night showing the wrapped packages of cocaine being […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

Police credit New Yorkers for suspect’s arrest in the rape of a 13-year-old girl

NEW YORK (AP) — Residents of a New York City neighborhood were praised for their role in the arrest of an Ecuadorian accused of raping a 13-year-old girl, a crime that the city’s police commissioner said “shocked our entire city.” Christian Geovanny Inga-Landi, 25, was arrested early Tuesday outside a deli in Corona, Queens. He […]

18 hours ago

Maryland governor signs gun-control bills tightening requirements